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Exercise caution to reduce boating mishap risks

Sun Advocate reporter

Safety officials remind Carbon County residents to comply with established boating guidelines when enjoying water recreation activities.

With summer rapidly approaching, local safety officials remind Carbon County residents about the importance of using safe boating practices when enjoying water recreation activities.

According to the state parks' website, Utah's boating program aims to educate and inform boat operators about the laws and rules established to provide public safety and protect our natural resources on Utah's waterways.

The efforts are funded through registration fees, state taxes on gasoline used to fuel motorboats and related federal safety grants.

The site reports that, with an ever increasing demand on Utah's limited number of rivers, lakes and reservoirs boaters must use their water recreation resources wisely.

The state parks division stresses that boaters have the responsibility to practice and advocate safe and ethical use of waterways.

The responsibility includes properly registering boats, learning and obeying boating safety laws, rules and sharing waterways with other boaters, swimmers and anglers.

To provide the necessary education, the states parks division offers a home study boating safety and education course designed for boat operators and owners 16 years of age or older.

According to the Internet site, recent surveys indicate that more than 80 percent of Utah's registered boat owners have not completed an educations course.

Successful completion of the state parks course will increase knowledge and participation in boating safety and may also reduce premiums paid to insure a boat.

The course is Internet based and offers many tools to advance a person's knowledge of boating safely.

The state parks officials, however, remind boat owners residing in the Carbon County area that the online class will not be accepted as meeting the education course requirements for personal water craft operators from the ages of 12 through 17 years old.

A separate educational program is required for these younger operators.

Before heading out for a weekend at the lake, the state parks department stresses the importance of outdoor enthusiasts using a safety equipment checklist.

The two sample lists provided by the state agency show the required and optional safety equipment one should store on their boat.

The website reports that equipment requirements vary depending on the size and type of the boat.

•Required equipment includes:

The display of bow numbers and registration decals.

A certificate of the boat's registration.

A fire extinguisher.

Spare propulsion like paddle oars or a motor.

A bailing device.

A sound producing device like a horn or whistle.

One personal flotation device for every person onboard the boat.

Type four personal flotation devices.

Proper navigation lights.

Boat engines must meet established muffler and/or noise requirements.

An adequate ventilation system.

An approved flame arrestor.

The display of the boat's capacity plate.

The boat's hull identification number.

Proof of liability insurance coverage.

•Opional equiptment includes:

A flashlight.

A first aid kit.

A boarding ladder.

A tool kit.

Extra rope or line.

An anchor with line.

Visual distress signal devices.

Spare spark plugs.

Additional personal flotation devices.

In addition, vessels 40 feet or longer must carry a bell as well as a horn or whistle.

For a complete list of all requirements and exemptions, Carbon County residents with Internet access may visit the agency's website at

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